Theth National Park: Guide to the Best Things to See and Do

October 21, 2023

Theth National Park is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled natural parks in Albania. It is a real hidden gem in Europe, well worth exploring.

Located in the remote part of Northern Albania, the park has a unique array of landscapes, ranging from dramatic mountain peaks and lush green valleys, to crystal clear rivers and stunning views.

Theth National Park (Parku Kombëtar i Thethit in Albanian), recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for its stunning natural beauty, diverse ecosystem, and rich cultural heritage.

Its wide variety of natural features are evident through the dense forests, the presence of brown bear, gray wolf, roe deer, numerous bird species, and the rivers and waterfalls with their crystal-clear waters.

In addition, its appealing structures and authentic rural Albanian style offer an interesting insight into the lifestyle of rural Albanians.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into Theth National Park, exploring its unique landscapes and cultural treasures.

Furthermore, since Theth National Park is known for providing some of the finest hiking opportunities in the region, it offers visitors a diverse array of activities, many of which are detailed in our article.

So let’s see what you need to know about Theth National Park, what are the main attractions to see when you visit and what are the best things to do there.

Where is Theth National Park?

Theth National Park (in Albanian: Parku Kombëtar i Thethit) is located in one of the northernmost parts of Albania, in the so-called Albanian Alps.

Its most famous village is Theth, where you will find most restaurants and accommodation. Theth is among the most beautiful villages in Albania, and for good reason.

Its lesser known villages are Grunas and Nderlysaj, where you will also find interesting sights. There are many other very small villages in the national park.

How to get to the Theth National Park?

Getting to Theth National Park is not easy, but the most convenient method is still by car.

To access this remote destination, most visitors initiate their journey from the city of Shkoder, which is the nearest city to Theth.

As you depart from Shkoder, begin by taking the SH1 main road, and then make a turn onto SH21 at Koplik. This is the SH21 route that will lead you to Theth. The road is mostly a narrow tarmac road, with several small villages along the way and unexpectedly heavy traffic. The trip usually takes around 1.5 hours from Koplik, and the average driving speed is quite slow.

As we prepared for our trip to Theth, a key question was whether the road was entirely paved. Well, in 2023, we traveled on a fully paved road all the way to Theth. The last gravel section was renovated in recent years, making it possible to reach Theth on a fully paved road.

An important detail is that getting to Theth is not easy, even though the road is asphalt, as it is a relatively long and strenuous mountain road. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you only start the journey with a driver experienced in mountain driving and, if possible, with a suitable car! If you also want to travel within the national park, on the gravel roads there, an off-road vehicle may be useful, but is not absolutely necessary.

If you need to rent a car, we recommend or

Is public transport available?

Yes, there are local bus services from Shkoder that transport tourists to Theth. You can inquire about the schedules and fares on the official website.

Best time to visit Theth National Park

The best time to visit the Theth National Park for hiking and nature exploration is mainly in summer.

The best months are from May to October, which offer pleasant weather and some of the most beautiful scenery. This is the time when meadows are in bloom and hiking trails are easier to follow.

In winter months, Theth is less recommended due to limited transport facilities and snow.

Top attractions in Theth National Park

Theth National Park is rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage. Here are some of the most popular attractions:

Accursed Mountains

The Accursed Mountains, also known as Prokletije or Bjeshkët e Nemuna or the Albanian Alps, constitute the stunning backdrop of Theth National Park. These mountains are a part of the Dinaric Alps and extend across several Balkan countries.

Theth Church

The Theth Church, or Kisha e Thethit in Albanian, is a historical and cultural highlight from the late 19th century.

You can walk around the church for free from the outside, but inside it is more difficult to visit. Rumor has it that the key is in a nearby bar, but we don’t know if this is true.

The Church of Theth is the most iconic building in Theth National Park, you can see photos of the church in many places by searching for Theth.

Plus, with the surrounding mountains in the background, we think it’s a real unmissable place for photographers.

Blue Eye

The Blue Eye of Theth is a crystal-clear blue spring with a small waterfall. It’s an ideal spot for a refreshing swim or a little relaxation in nature.

Please note that it should not be confused with the Blue Eye in Southern Albania.

Getting to the Blue Eye: You can reach the Blue Eye on foot from Nderlysaj. You can leave your car in the village. There are also paid guided tours available, which you can book in Theth on-site or by phone.

Grunas Waterfall

This magnificent waterfall is a short hike away from the village of Theth.

The hike typically takes around 30-40 minutes one way, involving a slight ascent to reach the waterfall. Wearing hiking shoes is definitely recommended for this hike.

Grunas Canyon

The Grunas Canyon is located in the southern part of the national park, close to the Grunas Waterfall.

It is about 2 km long and in some places up to 60 m deep, with a highly variable width.

From a wooden bridge, called “Ura mbi kanion” on Google Maps, you can see a small section of the canyon. However, a guide who is familiar with the area is recommended for a more thorough exploration.

Reconciliation Tower

The Reconciliation Tower or Kulla e Ngujimit in Albanian is a stone structure that has served various purposes throughout the village’s history. Today, it functions as a museum.

When you visit, for a small entrance fee, you can delve deeper into Theth’s history and the tales of the old village.

Best things to do in Theth National Park

The Theth National Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities to satisfy the needs of nature-loving travelers. Many forms of activities in unspoiled nature and fresh air can be enjoyed in Theth National Park. The following are worth mentioning here:


Theth National Park offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all levels. You can choose from short and easy walks to more challenging multi-day treks. Popular options include:

  • Hiking to the Blue Eye: The national park’s iconic waterfall with a natural blue pool in which visitors can swim (although the water is very cold). Along the way you can admire the Vaskat Ndërlysaj hiking area, its rock formations and the crystal clear turquoise waters of the river.
  • Visiting the Grunas Waterfalls: A short, moderately difficult hike to perhaps the most beautiful waterfall in the national park.
  • Hiking through the mountains (Valbona Pass) to Valbona Valley: One of the most popular hikes in Albania. However, due to its difficulty, it is only recommended for experienced hikers.


Albania is tolerant of campers, so there’s nothing to worry about. However, due to the presence of wild animals, it is advisable to camp in designated campsites.


The park’s natural beauty and traditional Albanian architecture make it a great destination for photographers. Capture the landscapes, people, and culture with your camera.

Try Albanian Food

While staying in Theth National Park, you can experience local culture and cuisine by staying in guesthouses. Albanian cuisine features red meat, cheeses, vegetables, and delicious dishes like burek and tave kosi, which is a national specialty. You can also enjoy familiar international dishes such as pancakes and risotto.

Where to stay in Theth National Park

Experience Albanian hospitality by staying in a guest house where you can sample traditional Albanian cuisine and interact with the local community.

We recommend the following accommodation in Theth:

Theth National Park is a place where nature, Albanian culture and adventure meet. The stunning landscapes, wildlife, friendly people and traditional cuisine offer a unique experience for all visitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful parts of Albania. Be part of such a journey and discover this natural gem of the Balkans.

Other attractions near Theth National Park

The north of Albania is full of wonderful sights. If you’re visiting Theth, consider including the following places in your Albania itinerary:


Shkoder is one of the largest cities in Albania. The city is located near Lake Shkoder or Lake Shkodra, one of the largest lakes in Europe.

One of the city’s highlights is the Rozafa Castle, an impressive fortress on the outskirts of the city, situated on a hilltop. The castle offers panoramic views of Lake Shkoder and the surrounding countryside.

Shkoder is also famous for its Ebu Beker Mosque, located in the city center.

All in all, Shkoder is an exciting city that offers visitors a wealth of historical, cultural and natural treasures.

Valbona Valley

Valbona Valley in Albania is a picturesque place that fascinates visitors. It is an area of beautiful mountains, crystal clear rivers and lush forests, just like the Theth National Park.

The Valbona River is also found in the valley, as well as a few waterfalls, which add to the beauty and charm of the valley.

Valbona Valley is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. Numerous hiking trails offer the opportunity to explore the beautiful landscapes of the area.

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